Tickets to the New England Patriots
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About The New England Patriots
In any other football game the play would have been ruled a fumble. But this wasn’t just any football game. This was the final New England Patriots game at Foxboro Stadium. This was a divisional playoff game against the Oakland Raiders. This was the contest that would come to be known as the “Tuck Game.”
Late in the fourth quarter, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was sacked by his former Michigan teammate Charles Woodson. In the course of the sack, Brady fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Oakland linebacker Greg Biekert.
However, the play was reversed when referee Walt Coleman noticed that Brady’s arm, despite being in front of his torso, was still moving when the ball was knocked loose. Under the “tuck rule,” Brady was still in the act of throwing and therefore it wasn’t a fumble but an incomplete pass.
Through the wind, the snow and the bitter cold, the Patriots were able to drive down the field and kick a field goal to tie the game with 30 seconds left. The Pats would go on to win in overtime 16-13.
The “tuck rule” would forever change the course of the NFL. New England went on to win Super Bowl XXXVI that year. Two years later they won Super Bowl XXXVI and a year after that they won Super Bowl XXXIX.
New England became just the eighth franchise to win consecutive Super Bowls and only the second franchise to win three in four years.
In 2007, the Patriots finished the season 18-1 with a perfect 16-0 regular season. Brady set an NFL record by throwing 50 touchdowns passes. Wide receiver Randy Moss established the record for most touchdown receptions in a season with 23.
However, their one loss occurred in the game that matter the most. The New York Giants defeated the Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII.
In addition to the Super Bowls, the Patriots have complied the two longest winning streaks in NFL history. In 2003-2004, the team won 18 in a row and then from 2006 through 2008, the team won 21 in a row.
The Patriots tremendous success in the first decade of the 21st century stems from the clutch execution of quarterback Tom Brady.
Drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady would eventually come to define the position of NFL quarterback and make his name is synonymous with winning.
He won the NFL MVP in 2007 and was twice awarded Super Bowl MVP. He’s a four time Pro Bowl selection and the Patriots all-time leader in passing touchdowns. His 92.9 passer rating is the fourth highest in NFL history.
The other major contributor to the Patriots success is their head coach, Bill Belichick. His cold, calculating intellect has allowed him to compile a 153-90 regular season record and an astounding 15-4 postseason record. He was twice voted NFL Coach of the Year, won three Super Bowls and four AFC Championships.
Belichick has had one losing season as the Patriots head coach, 2000—his first year with the franchise.
The Patriots began in 1959 when Boston business executive Billy Sullivan was awarded the eighth and final AFL franchise. Locals were asked to suggest a name for the team and the “Patriots” turned out to be the most popular.
Known as the Boston Patriots, the franchise struggled in the AFL due to lack of a consistent home. It wasn’t until 1971, a year after the NFL-AFL merger, and the Pats being placed in the AFC East, did the team finally get a permanent stadium.
The Patriots moved into a new stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, a town about 22 miles outside of Boston. The Patriots would play in “Foxboro” until 2001. Starting in the 2002 season, the team began playing its home games at Gillette Stadium. With the move to Foxborough, the franchise changed its name to New England.
Despite having a new home, the team still struggled. They made the playoffs in 1976 and again in 1978, but both times failed to make it out of the first round.
In 1985, the team not only reached the playoffs but made it all the way to Super Bowl XX. Unfortunately, they had to play the Chicago Bears. In one of the most dominating performances in any championship game, in any sport, the Bears decimated the Pats 46-10.
The team returned to the playoffs the following year, in 1986, but once again failed to make it out of the first round.
The Patriots wouldn’t return to the postseason until the arrival of head coach Bill Parcells. “The Tuna” took the team to the playoffs in 1994 and 1996. The 96’ team made it all the way to Super Bowl XXXI but lost 35-21 to Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.
Parcells was replaced by Pete Carrol. Not reaching anywhere near the success he would eventually achieve at USC, Carrol led the Pats to playoff appearances in 1997 and 1998. After Carrol was fired, the team hired Bill Belichick. The rest as they say is history.
The Patriots have been owned by four different individuals. The original owner, Billy Sullivan sold the team to entrepreneur Victor Kiam in 1988. Four years later, Kiam sold the team to the great-grandson of Adolphus Busch, James Orthwein, who wanted to relocate the franchise to St. Louis. Obviously he didn’t, instead choosing to sell the franchise in 1994 to business man Robert Kraft.
Quickly, Kraft established himself as one of the brightest owners in all of professional sports. With him at the helm, the Patriots will be a franchise to be reckoned with for decades to come.
About Your Tickets to the New England Patriots
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